Indiana Daily Student

Super Bowl commercial round-up

Melissa McCarthy stars in in the Kia Super Bowl LI ad. (Kia)
Melissa McCarthy stars in in the Kia Super Bowl LI ad. (Kia)

This year’s Super Bowl featured a banner number of advertisements with political messages. In no particular order, here are some of the best and worst of 2017.

Top message commercials

1. It’s a 10 "Hair Care" 

I am a sucker for political messages in Super Bowl commercials, and this one was short and sweet. While the message against “at least four years of awful hair” is not exactly subtle, the commercial was creative and caught people’s attention with some crazy hairstyles. It was short and to the point, while expressing an important message about sticking together and staying on point through rough times.

2. Coca-Cola “It’s Beautiful”

There is nothing that hits you harder than seeing your country in all of its beauty and hearing a beautiful song in the many languages it speaks. Projecting some strong messages about celebrating the United States’ diversity, Coca-Cola hit a bullseye with this rendition of a classic American song accompanied by the beautiful faces of a fruitful and diverse nation.

3. Audi “Daughter”

So many important issues were brought to the forefront this year, and Audi did a great job promoting way more than just a car. I felt lucky to be able to see this commercial because of its attention to current issues, selfless promotion of something besides a product and Audi's creative attack on gender pay inequality. The framing of a father-daughter conversation adds a certain innocence to it and certainly showed that the world needs to change.

4. 84 Lumber “The Entire Journey”

More than half of this commercial was not allowed  on air because it was too controversial, so 84 Lumber posted  "The Entire Journey" on its website, which crashed minutes after the first part, "The Journey Begins," aired during the Super Bowl. This is an obvious stab at the Trump administration’s talk of new immigration laws, but it told a story that obviously persuaded people to go and see the ending. The creativity and boldness of this commercial is impressive, especially because it didn’t come from a company that is a household name. 

5. Honda “Yearbooks”

Celebrity endorsements can distract from the actual commercial, but after this “Yearbook” of celebrity endorsements, I ended up feeling inspired. A list of comedians, actors, musicians, and others encouraged the Super Bowl viewers to shoot for the stars, believe in yourself and never give up. This message coincides with all kinds of values, which makes it a perfect and captivating commercial for this event.


1. Avocados from Mexico "#AvoSecrets”

This ad doesn’t fit in the vibe of Super Bowl Commercials, which is the best thing about it. It has a kind of humor that reminded me of “The Office” with fast banter and quick one-liners. The commercial starts off with dark, menacing music and slowly scales down to a friendly, humorous level of comfort that everyone can laugh at.

2. Busch Beer “Buschhhhh”

If you are going to do a beer commercial at the Super Bowl, you might as well aim it at your outdoor lumberjack type of guys at least once. It may not appeal to everyone, but the Busch Beer commercial was at least a quirky addition to the slew of alcohol commercials from this year.

3. Tide “Super Bowl Commercial 2017 with Terry Bradshaw”

Sometimes an advertisement fits a whole adventure into less than 90 seconds. That’s exactly what happens when Terry Bradshaw gets a stain on his shirt before going on the air. During a series of ups and downs, he encounters celebrities, including Jeffrey Tambor, as his stain achieves unprecedented levels of fame.

4. Bai ft. Justin Timberlake & Christopher Walken

It doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need to make a good Super Bowl commercial is Christopher Walken speaking NSYNC lyrics, followed by a seven-second shot of Justin Timberlake sitting on the same couch and not saying a word. That the lyrics to the 2000s pop hit match up with the product’s name is just a bonus.

5. Kia “Hero’s Journey”

There is nothing like seeing a prized comedic actress like Melissa McCarthy being thrown around by a rhino or slamming into the side of a boat. It is a little ironic that a car commercial would include message about environmental responsibility in its commercial, but adding McCarthy to anything makes it great. The message that viewers everywhere should do their part to save the planet is a good one, but attaching a car company feels forced.

The Losers

1. API Oil Commercial

While the shooting of the commercial was very inspiring and uplifting, with what is going on in the United States right now a lot of people found it a little too controversial. The commercial shows many images of progress such as rockets taking off and machinery being made, and all of this was possible because of oil. Many environmental protests and rallies have been initiated since President Trump’s order to start work on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL, which are going to access oil reserves on Native American territory and cause environmental damage. I would say convincing the American people to go along with the DAPL and KXL with an underwhelming Super Bowl commercial did not go as planned.

2. Mr. Clean “Cleaner of Your Dreams”

I never thought I would see the famous “Mr. Clean” sexualized in a commercial. Then this happened. A woman fantasizes a sexy Mr. Clean scrubbing her shower and seductively dancing around the kitchen, then realizes that Mr. Clean is a fantasy and the person cleaning is just an average Joe. Apparently when a man cleans, it is so absolutely arousing that a woman just can’t resist him. The switch in gender roles was interesting, but in the end, this commercial might have tried too hard.

3. Skittles “Romance”

What started off as being a little funny turned into something a little creepy and uncomfortable. A romantic gesture by a boy outside of a girl’s window ended up with a lot of weird people in this girl’s room catching colorful candy. Skittles usually tries for a different feel in their commercials than in other companies’ ads. This one met that criterion.

4. Intel “Brady Everyday”

Come on, Intel. As if Tom Brady didn’t have a big enough head already, now he can look epic from all angles, and he’s getting paid more? I don’t know if it’s just my jealousy or bad casting, but either way, I got weird vibes from this commercial. It’s not funny and has no moral value at all. Sorry, Tom, not a fan.

5. T-Mobile #UnlimitedMoves

You know something’s up when the title of a commercial is a hashtag. You also know something is up when you have to have Justin Bieber in your commercial to cover up the commercial’s actual story and content. Nothing like some aggressive techno music and dancing to mask an underwhelming storyline.

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